Letter: Elegance on the wind and power beneath the waves

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article, 'No such thing as a free source of energy', mentions the environmental objections to most forms of energy generation, but ignores the one that has been given a clean bill of health by the Government: wave energy, when the generators are stationed away from the coast.

No major deleterious effects of the converters themselves could be identified, provided that the converters are well offshore. (Energy Paper 42, Department of Energy and the Energy Support Unit at Harwell.)

Some of us who are critical of official policy have always suspected that the Government supported wind farms on land because it knew that in a crowded island they could never develop sufficiently to become a major supplier of the grid, and would not, therefore, be demanding of large-scale investment. The only way that wind power could be extended sufficiently would be by building the wind turbines offshore - if you were going to go to sea, the natural thing to harvest would be the energy of the waves, which are a concentrated form of the wind.

Yours truly,

DAVID ROSS

London, SE5

28 February

The writer is author of 'Energy from the Waves' (Pergamon, 1981; OUP forthcoming).

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